A stylometric reading of William Wordsworth and W. B. Yeats’s poetry: Ambivalent cravings in romantic and modernist consciousness
Keywords:ambivalence, cravings, criticism, modernist, periodization, r-stylo, romantic discourse, stylistics voyant
What is peculiar about William Wordsworth and William Butler Yeats is that they represent two variants of the same type of consciousness. Their awareness of the world is linked to aesthetic appreciations. This paper explores this aesthetics with emphasis on the poets’ believe that art, specifically poetry, is an instrument of vision through which nature and humanity, can be appreciated and made perfect. While it is observed that very little has been written comparing Wordsworth and Yeats, this comparative critical assessment juxtaposes these self-seeking poets focusing on their ambivalent romantic yearnings. Stylometric methods with Voyant tools and “R-Stylo” are applied for quantitative and qualitative analyses of the poets’ ambivalent cravings. The question that runs through the paper is how both poets, in the context of periodization do, transcend their eras to establish visionary dimensions of the romantic quest. The results found in the analysis of both poets’s sublime consciousness display to a certain extent the representation of the artists’ contrasting moods. Such moods, however, reveal them as literary connoisseurs who transcended the boundaries of periodization and concentrated on cultural, historical, ideological and philosophical realities as means to rescue mankind from prolong affliction and psychical strain.
Abrams, M. H. (1968). English Romanticism: The Spirit of the Age. Romanticism Reconsidered: Selected Papers from the English Institute. Northrop Frye (Ed.). New York: Columbia University Press. 26 – 72.
Arnold, M. (1994). From Memorial Verses (1850). Wordsworth and his Critics. Ed. Damain Walford Davies. London: Everyman’s Library.
Berker, D. Y. (2020). Tone and Theme Differences in Romantic and Modernist British Poetry:. British Poetry, 1-10. https://www.academia.edu/44972585/Tone_and_Theme_Differences_in_Romantic_and_Modernist_British_Poetry_W_Wordsworth_and_W_B_Yeats.
Conger, D. (nd). Wordsworth’s Women Female Creative Power” in Lyrical Ballads. Pennsylvania State University. www.https//montreat.edu/dking/ Wordsworth.htm.
Davies, D. W. (1975). Introduction. William Wordsworth: Selected Poems. London: Everyman’s Publishers Plc. XIII – XIIII.
Frye, N. (1968). The Drunken Boat: The Revolutionary Elements in Romanticism”. Romanticism Reconsidered. New York: Columbia University Press, 1-25.
_ _ _. (1973). The Keys to Dreamland. The Norton Reader. 3rd Arthur M. Eastman. et al (Ed.). New York: W.W. Norton & Company. Inc. 485 - 95.
Hazlitt, W. (1932). On the Living Poets. Poetry and Criticism of the Romantic Movement. Eds. Oscar James Campbell et al. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc. 670 - 4.
Hough, G. (1961). The Last Romantics. London: Oxford University Press.
Jameson, F. (1975). Magical Narratives: Romance as Genre. New Literary History: 135-163 jstor. 21 10 2013. http://www.jstor.org/stable/468283.
Jeffrey, F. (1932). Rv. Thelaba, the Destroyer: A Metrical Romance. By Robert Southey. Rpt. in On the Living Poets. Poetry and Criticism of the Romantic Movement by William Hazlitt, New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc.
Kusi, D. T. (2005). The Concept of Beauty and Visionary Contemplation in the Poetry of W. B. Yeats. MA. Diss. University of Yaounde I: Department of English.
Nkengasong, J. N. (2004). W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot: Visions of Ideal Reality. The Atlantic Literary Review.
– – – . (2005). W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot: Myths and the Poetics of Modernism. Yaounde: Press Universitaires.
Savoy, J. (2020). Machine Learning Methods for Stylometry: Authorship Attribution and Author Profiling. Switzerland: Springer Nature Switzerland AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53360-1
Scott-Kilvert, et al. (1968). Eds. British Writers. Vol. VI. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
Seber, H. (2014). One Day William Butler. Ed. Erol Burcin. Ankara, Turkey: Hacettepe University, Department of English Language and Literature. http://www.ide.hacettepe.edu.tr/OneDayWilliamButlerYeats.pdf.
Summit, J. and D. Wallace (2007). Rethinking Periodisation, Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Special Edition Medieval/ Renaissance: After Periodization, 37(3), 447-451.
Teke, C. (2004). Towards the Poetics of Becoming: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s and John Keats’s Aesthetics Between Idealism and Deconstruction. Doctorate Thesis. February. Regensbury October 20, 2006. http://www.opus-bayern.de/uniregensbury/voltexte/2006/39/ pdf/dissertation.pdf
Toit, du M. (2015). W.B. Yeats’s Aesthetic Philosophy in his Earlier Works. Dissertation for a Magister in English at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, May.
Trilling, L. (1968). The Fate of Pleasure: Wordsworth to Dostoevsky. Romanticism Reconsidered. Ed. Northrop Frye. New York: Columbia University Press, 1- 25.
Watson, J. R. (1991). William Wordsworth: Overview. Reference Guide to English Literature, 2nd ed. Ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick. St. James Press. Gale database: Literature Resource Centre. Fri, 28 Mar 2008.http://galenet.gaglegroup.com/servlet/LitRC=William+Wordsworth&conts
Wellek, R. (1994). The Concept of ‘Romanticism’ in Literary History. I. The Term ‘Romantic’ and its Derivatives. Comparative Literature, 1(1), 1-23. http://www.jstor.org/.
Watson, J. R. (1983). William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850). British Writers. Vol. VI. Ed. Scott-Kilvert. et al. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1–24.
Winkler, R. O. C. (1957). Wordsworth’s Poetry. The Pelican Guide to English Literature: from Blake to Byron, 5, Ford Boris (Ed.). Great Britain: Penguin Books Ltd., 152 - 86.
Wordsworth, W. (1975). Selected Poems. Ed. Damian Walford Davies. London: Everyman’s Publishers Plc.
– – – . (nd). Project Gutenberg. https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/
Yeats, W. B. W. B. Yeats: A Critical Edition of the Major Works. Ed. Edward Larrissy. Oxford: University Press.
– – – . (nd) Project Gutenberg: 16 March, 2022. https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 David Toh Kusi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This open-access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
You are free to: Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms: Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
No additional restrictions You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.